The humble controller has never been the best choice for first-person shooters. Those who have mastered the keyboard and mouse combo can pulverize even the best console gamers thanks to the added accuracy and speed of movement that control method provides. But while this combination may be the method of choice for serious FPS gamers, it doesn't offer any kind of realism. Something that the newly announced Delta Six controller cannot be accused of thanks to its firearm form factor.
First-person shooters have grown steadily in popularity since they arrived on the scene via Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, arguably the first proper game in the genre, and the first to gain mainstream attention. Now, thanks mainly to the growth of online multiplayer console gaming, the FPS genre hosts the biggest releases of the gaming calendar. Barring Grand Theft Auto release years, naturally.
In all that time the control method hasn't really changed, though the controller options have evolved and expanded to make the experience more realistic. Kotkin Enterprises, the company responsible for the N-Control Avenger and its successors, which work as shells for ordinary controllers, aiding gamers with adjustable levers, has unveiled its next project, which adds a much needed touch of realism to the FPS genre.
Delta Six is the name of the controller, and it's shaped like a gun, or several guns, in fact. It has different components that can be added to or removed from the core controller to turn it from a sub-machine gun into an assault rifle into a sniper rifle, depending on your favored class when playing first-person shooters.
The buttons necessary to play your typical FPS are located on the hand grip, but the Delta Six also features a silencer, scoping sights, and everything else you'd expect to see on a real gun. Thankfully they're all forged in plastic, but with the colorful buttons hidden behind the hand it looks realistic, as can be seen in the video embedded at the end of this post. This realism may cause some controversy with a mainstream media that already has a downer on violent video games.
Delta Six features a built-in accelerometer which means it works straight out of the box with no need for any additional hardware. It also employs force feedback motors that will physically react to the gun being fired as well as to the action taking place on screen. Reloading requires the user to physically eject and re-inject the magazine. In other words this is an attempt at bringing an extra touch of battlefield realism to first-person shooters. Just without the obvious danger that goes hand-in-hand with the real thing.
There are currently no details about the availability of Delta Six, but it will cost US$89.